Fork Mount

A type of equatorial mount used on short tube catadioptric telescopes in which the telescope tube is mounted between two arms connected to a motor drive. It does not need a counterweight to balance the tube, as with a German equatorial mount. An equatorial wedge and field tripod are used tilt the scope over to align it on the celestial pole for proper tracking. Setting circles are provided to locate celestial objects by their right ascension and declination coordinates. The r. a. setting circle is usually driven by the scope's motor drive to move across the sky at the same speed as the stars, following their apparent motion. This makes fork mount setting circles more convenient to use than the unpowered circles on most German equatorial mounts, as the latter must be readjusted periodically to keep pace with the motion of the stars. Photography near the north celestial pole is difficult with a fork mount.

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